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When God Said "No"

Twenty-two years ago I was expecting my first child. It was a magical time. I was enjoying being a wife, setting up home and the arrival of our first born would complete this idyll. My heart leapt with joy as I felt the first stirrings of life.
I prayed with sincerity, confident that God would oversee the intricate process of the gestation of a perfect child.
So it was a shock, after an arduous labor, when it became apparent that our new born was not as we had hoped—a fully functioning clone of his parents. It took some investigation to discover that our baby had suffered oxygen deprivation, which manifested itself as learning difficulties. We did not have the perfect child we had hoped and prayed for.
I questioned God, “Why me?” was the pitiful lament that was never far from my lips. We felt like failures and rather than basking in the joys of new parenthood, too often, we sank into the depths of misery. I demanded an explanation from God for this cruel blow.
The years went by and God maintained his silence as we stumbled through our lives. Our son passed his milestones albeit much later than others of his own age but we reveled in these small achievements. In time, despair gave way to gratitude and we thanked God for the precious gift of our child and subsequently, for the birth of two more “perfect” children.
Today, we are changed people and all because God responded in the negative.

We now understand that we were given this special child for a special reason. A child, untainted by the world, who enriches us daily with the beauty of his soul. Our son has opened our hearts and minds and taught us the art of appreciation. It is as if we were chosen to be his parents to learn this important lesson and, truly, that is our blessing.
As a friend of mine, also the mother of a child with special needs says: “bringing up a child is like baking a cake; the ingredients are provided, which we must mix and mould according to the recipe. In the case of our children, we have only been supplied with half the ingredients and without the full instructions but still the cake must be prepared.” It is a Herculean task but not without its rewards.
Life is not perfect and was never meant to be a pain free journey. The bitter pills we must swallow along the way are there to make us whole. God does answer our prayers but sometimes the answer is “no” and now, I know why.

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